Hello, I’m Alison Simpson. Everyone that knows me calls me “The Colorado Girl.” I’ve just arrived home post graduation from a small prestigious liberal arts college on the east coast. I’m living with my “rents.” These are my real biological married for life parents. I also have a 13-year-old brother, Alex. His friends started calling him X a couple of years ago, and it stuck. We are close buds for siblings. I missed X and my parents a ton while going through the college experience. It seems like a long journey, but I’m now finally back at home in Summit County, Colorado where I know I belong. I’m one of the 67% of college grads that apparently failed to launch properly. I wouldn’t live anywhere else right now. I don’t care if I’m the only person ever to move back home after college. I’m sincerely happy back in my family home in Summit County, Colorado. My family abode is my nest, and there is no place on earth like home. I just received my acclaimed college BA degree with a double major in business marketing as well as music. My third major was social media according to Mom and Dad. Arriving as a shy freshman and leaving a somewhat gregarious confident twenty something (millennial) reveals that college for me provided strong interactive socialization. I didn’t talk much when I was admitted but was a blabber mouth when I left. Everyone bounced social and academic matters off me. It was whether to take this professor, dump this class or boyfriend, or take this job. Everyone in time leaned on me for advice. I enjoyed the attention and came from nowhere to become a college social queen. It seems college coeds and guys were attracted to me because I was not your normal every day college gal. I was a tomboy from the Rocky Mountains.
Now I’m truly on my way. My career path as a real twenty something couldn’t be brighter by having a very coveted job in my backyard. My parents wanted me home in the worst way. They struggled emotionally through all four of my college years. They never adapted to not having my friends and me around just to touch, feel, communicate, interact, and love. Admittedly I had the very worst case of college homesickness as a freshman. Thus, it just wasn’t right on all fronts for me to be away from my family for more than a millisecond. I did adapt and slowly became much more comfortable; but always yearned for my home, Summit County, Colorado. College was seemingly very quick in time standards. It was, however, four long years away from my rents and X. I sat in my dorm alone as a frosh wondering why I made this decision to travel so far away from home with no easy exit. I’m now forever glad I did go away to college. It made me stronger and independent, appreciate my friends and family back home even more, and made me realize I totally belong in Summit County, Colorado. I know where I’m going to live. Only God can drag me out of the Rocky Mountains now.
Unfortunately being away from my family during my college tenure was at times just not fun for all of us. Our family kept it in perspective knowing that I would return home when I finished my college degree. You don’t know how good it feels to be home until I realized that Summit County, Colorado is the very best place on earth to live. Most parents have a touch of relief when a high school senior departs. It was noticeably reticent in the Simpson house when I left. Mom and Dad did not like this whatsoever. They wanted the excitement and exuberance of all my guy and girl friends. We are now a reunited, recently formed musical group termed by Dad, “Downtown”. We have four guys and five gals who have all returned home to Summit County, Colorado post- college or graduate school. Downtown was the embodiment of my glorious youth. I can’t remember a day without singing a vocal duet, studying Calculus to get that A grade, racing our best friends to maintain our position on the Summit Ski Team, or backcountry snowshoeing through an early season snow dump. I lived with Downtown except for evenings as a youth. We were so very close that we all knew we’d come back and be buddies for life. Our lives were different and very much enriched by extremely close family and friends. I’d do anything for my best friends and relatives. I’m very blessed. My childhood could not have been better as a youth anywhere else on our planet. I also realize it’s not just returning home to my Colorado nest that makes the difference for me. It’s ultimately my All American loving grassroots family that makes the big difference! The Simpson family is just totally awesome in every way! Everyone has a unique family, but mine is so super special. My family is my embodiment. Nothing I do or say matters unless it is passable with my family.
The Simpson’s are standard yet in many ways very different. We love and care for one another 24/7. It’s through thick and thin times that the support we’ve all provided one another is second to none. We are always living unselfishly as a family unit. Everyone continually places the family above personal ambitions and goals. I must admit when I went to college our driveway had nail polish and scratch marks from myself clutching on to childhood with all my strength. Inside, however, I just knew I had to get away for a while to appreciate how good life is in Summit County, Colorado. I realized that immediately after I met my snappy East Coast roommate, Heather Seines, as a frosh. Heather never knew anyone who was nice. After one month of sheer East Coast mental torture, I confronted her with the ultimate fact that she was an absolute you know what! She abruptly changed and said she wanted to be like a Colorado girl. I was under reacting to her constantly changing moods. Dad’s instructions in how to deal with people you don’t love were as Dad directed from back home. She subsequently acknowledged no one else could probably put up with her for more than a couple days. I jokingly said two days was a stretch, try two minutes.
Our college is old school and didn’t go through the roommate match thing the summer before you arrived. Roommates including Heather and I were randomly assigned to one another. It was for better or worse. She felt I was incredibly unique to her and dubbed me (as between us) with the name, “The Colorado Girl.” We’ve been best of buds ever since our spat. My nickname also leaked and I became known around campus as “The Colorado Girl.” I had to remain cool and accept this name since I just didn’t yet know the political landscape at this hierarchal college. I knew immediately that all social structure and maybe even grades were dependent on your great grandparents living in these old ivy-covered dormitories. Inside these dorms, the rooms and structures were so small and archaic that they were fresh and unique. I’ve never seen the primitive faucets, hand rails, desks, and bathtubs anywhere else in life. My dorm room was ten feet high! All my high school graduating friends had much more modern college conveniences than I. I’m very blessed because out of 40,000 applicants to the frosh class; I was one of 500 chosen. I would have climbed the highest mountain in a blizzard to attend this college. The students, professors, classes, learning environment, and social structure at my college was so historically respected and maintained. College was superb in all ways. I wished my coed college experience would never have ended! I certainly didn’t feel that way when I arrived with lengthy crying spells and sleep- less nights from severe advanced homesickness.
Though my 13-year-old brother, Alex, was home, my rents still had severe early empty nest because of me in college. If Alex weren’t there, Mom and Dad both would have certainly jumped off the dam in nearby Dillon, Colorado. Mom called and texted on fifteen occasions my very first day away from home. We eventually finally settled into a pattern of once daily or even every other day texting, emailing or phone calls. That’s a fairly typical pattern for college gals. Guys seemingly are less attached to back home families once they emerge from childhood. I hung with many guys while in college because young adults travel and move as a cultured pack similar to coyotes. Modernly, the scene is not male-female couples anymore akin to a couple of generations ago. Many guys in our college combined boy and girl clique would ask me why I was always communicating with Mom. I honestly responded that the strings are just not enough severed even with me being 2000 miles from home. Guys will never understand the mother and daughter tight-knit relationship. Now that I have a smart phone I’m not losing my family! Most of my college peers came from the east coast area. It was relatively easy for students to travel home for a weekend. Young men just never will understand the implications of your family umbilical cord severed at age 18. I was the constant victim of chiding when my cell rang amidst our clique of mostly guys. Shortly I learned the vibrating ring to avoid sheer embarrassment and harassment caused by the frequent calling of Mom. We’ll never let go of one another. That’s maybe weird, but Mom is so calm and loving that in a way she represents God to me. I know some Moms don’t care, direct their daughters, and can be obnoxious. My mom is so unbelievably cool that by the time college ended, everyone on campus wanted my Mom for their Mom. Our family is just maybe different and very fortunate we have each other.
I loved the east coast with all its excitement, seasons, and even the culture of harshly accented people grew on me. People may sound obnoxious, irritating, and rude; however they don’t harbor negative thoughts in most encounters. Nobody acts like the east coast people in my home of Summit County, Colorado. I sensed the competitiveness with everything immediately while on the east coast. This competitiveness led to the harsh survival attitude that Heather and every dormy carried. Competing against everyone including your college roommate is human.
The competition is both good and bad. I always felt uneasy if Heather’s grade was low (C+) while she immersed herself in a class such as Western Civilization. I lied and said I received a B when I achieved an A. I wanted Heather to be close to me. There was no grade inflation at our college. The C grade was average work, and many excellent students received Cs. Heather was a lovely person very deep inside. Dad surmised this after frosh welcome week. He instructed me to hang in there with someone very different, and it worked. I was immediately actively nominated and was admitted to the most prestigious sorority on campus because of Heather’s multi-generational college connections. There was no way Heather was not admit- ted, and I was the tandem roommate. We still text regularly. I miss Heather Seines!
Everyone on the east coast seemingly had to promote themselves by being for- ward with a loud unintelligible voice. It was a contest with the winner having the most misunderstood Bostonian voice. Most gals in my frosh dorm were not genuinely beautiful much of the time. These gals had an attitude and act- ed outwardly with marked drama instead of just being themselves. The spoiled behavior within the dorm was a very common theme, and it became old. Instead of just dealing with a problem, it was a relatively whiny endeavor. As a very close befriended dormy, I had to endure the endless tensions of bad grades, missed periods, parents divorcing the split second the last one leaves home and the all en- compassing “being dumped.” On balance, the stresses of adjusting to college life as a young adult transpired much easier for me as a college coed than most of these cultured east coast boarding school kids. I instantly noted my whole female (old school) dorm was medicated with birth control pills, SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) antidepressant medications, sleeping aids, and anti-anxiety pills when I was a frosh.
My business marketing major, practical savvy and common sense clearly indicate that the pharmaceutical industry is here to stay. I was a real loner who lived and was raised very differently than my befriended dorm comrades. I soon realized that the east coast boarding girl preppies required prescription drugs for their life- style. The medications were so accepted. I wanted zero meds of any kind. Many in the dorm had only seen their parents a few times since 8th grade. I endured a few chuckles and grins, stares and even shock when I told the dorm gals all we needed was a busy afternoon of double black diamond skiing, a few good tunes to sing, and a warm, actual, burning logs and a glowing fireplace in the evening. The family had to be included. Depression, eating, nor sleeping disorders never surfaced with our Colorado lifestyle. These negative traits just didn’t occur to me. Life was a realm of fun and enjoyment. The overall gestalt of my lifestyle and personality led to the name, “The Colorado Girl.” Somehow being different I was able to make friends just by coming from The Rocky Mountains and having a very differing youth experience. The dorm realized they had a real tomboy as a fellow dormy, and that was very cool to them. Thus, I was invited to every sorority rush and had choices of which clique or house I wanted to join. You were a real zero if you didn’t rush at this old established east coast liberal arts school. I didn’t want to watch TV by myself on Saturday college evenings. I attended all the sorority rushes, but in the end, couldn’t escape Heather’s demand that we enter the most sought-after women’s’ college club together.